Weekly Update: to

Here’s your Canadian Atheist Weekly Update for to .

[Photo of Justin Trudeau.]

I criticize him a lot, but Justin Trudeau did a pretty good job this past week on several files, so credit where it’s due.

  • [] 7 Stories So Horrifying They Actually Got Cut From The Bible

    These stories are gloriously fucked up.

  • [] Ottawa-based priest suspended in wake of sex-abuse lawsuit

    One of the most disturbing parts of this story is how many people casually turned a blind eye to the abuse.

  • [] Ottawa Catholic university cancels screening of abortion documentary

    To no-one’s surprise, the free speech heroes who are quick to jump on universities for taking any steps to stop far-right messages were conspicuously silent about this case. Andrew Scheer was actually subtly called out in the article; he was silent on the issue.

  • [] ‘Die Hard’ for jihadists? IS recruits with heroic tales

    More info about how Daesh recruits, and the mindset of people who run off to fight for the “caliphate”.

  • [] Chiropractic neck manipulations risk to public, says report

    The report didn’t find conclusive evidence that cervical spine manipulations should be banned, but they did demand that the Manitoba Chiropractors Association should be required to demonstrate scientifically the safety and efficacy of spinal manipulation therapy to ensure patient safety.

  • [] Mountain Coun. Terry Whitehead wants the Cross of Lorraine to shine

    Yes, this councillor thinks a giant neon cross symbolizes helping indigenous Canadians.

  • [] Quebec City police arrest 44 at far-right protest and counter-demonstration

    This is a very disturbing story, and part of what’s disturbing is this CBC write-up. Openly racist and fascist groups managed to leverage the Québec City police to protect them, and to attack anti-fascist protesters. It has raised serious questions about how authorities and the government should respond to hate groups.

  • [] Library cancels anti-Islam film screening

    The headline pretty much tells the story.

  • [] Saint Joseph’s Oratory asks court to be excluded from sexual assault lawsuit

    I haven’t heard yet whether they succeeded in weaseling out of the lawsuit.

  • [] Sorry, Creationists: Scientists Witness New Species Develop in Two Generations

    This was the science story of the week. It’s not just that evolution has been observed in real time; that’s been done countless times. And it’s not just that it’s been observed in complex organisms (rather than bacteria or fruit flies). It’s that a new species of finch evolved in just two generations. And the icing on the cake: the organism was a species of Darwin’s finches.

  • [] Alberta III% In The Addictions Recovery Business. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

    This is concerning; ideological and religious groups – and cults – have known for a long time that addicts, recovering or otherwise, are a fruitful source of recruits to the cause.

  • [] “Skinhead” (Video: 43:48)

    Wow, this documentary is worth the watch, not just for the story of the former skinhead, but for all the tidbits of information about how far-right groups think and recruit that are casually dropped throughout the narrative. For example, the two former skinheads talking about how they used to arrange meetings in ways that try to fly under the radar but everybody knew about it anyways, and one suggests, meeting at the free speech club, and the other agrees and repeats “free speech” with air quotes (start at 8:40).

  • [] White Nationalism And Right-Wing Extremism Aren’t New To Canada

    This is related to the Skinhead documentary above, but goes into far more detail into Barbara Perry and Ryan Scrivens’ research on far-right extremism in Canada.

  • [] Rehabilitation, not arrest, the answer for terrorist travellers, expert says

    This piece provides a decent foundation for the background behind the big story this week, which a few other items touch on. Daesh is collapsing, and while you’d be hard-pressed to find many Canadians who don’t think that’s a good thing, it does cause a problem: the many thousands of Daesh fighters are scattering in fear… and some of them are going to want to return to their home countries… and for around 250 of them, that happens to be Canada. It hasn’t happened yet (Conservative claims to the contrary), but Canada is preparing for an influx of former Daesh fighters. But while the flood hasn’t happened (yet), there are around 60 Canadians who left to fight with Daesh (or other extremist groups), and then returned. So the question is… what to do about them? When there is enough evidence to warrant charges, naturally they are charged. But in most cases, there isn’t. So what to do? The Conservatives have made this a political issue, accusing the Liberals with such stupidities as “doing nothing”, or even stupidier, “welcoming Daesh fighters back”. (In reality, most counter-terrorism experts have criticized the Conservatives for doing fuck all about the problem – even in this very article.) The truth is, Canada has (belatedly) adopted the state of the art in counter-terrorist techniques, some of which involve programs that attempt to deradicalize returnees and rehabilitate them into society. You can surely imagine why something like that would give Conservatives conniptions.

  • [] Why It’s Not Enough to Have Critical Thinking Skills

    Fascinating, though not altogether surprising research! I’m just going to quote my favourite finding: there was no correlation between a lack of belief in nonsense and … a desire for all people to think rationally.

  • [] The Professor of Piffle

    I just love the closing sentences of this piece.

  • [] Court rejects Hamilton dad’s fight to get warnings from school board over ‘false teachings’

    The decision isn’t publicly available yet, but from what I’ve heard, it’s going to be beautiful. Turns out there is no “right” in Canada to not be exposed to reality in school.

  • [] Bill C-66: Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act

    It can’t often be said these days that the Liberal government actually follows through on their promises… but, credit where it’s due, this bill will expunge – posthumously, if necessary – the criminal records of things like “buggery”, “gross indecency”, and anal intercourse, assuming the act was consensual and both partners were of the age of majority.

  • [] Justin Trudeau delivers historic formal apology for Canada’s past LGBT purge

    Historic indeed, and long overdue. This is not the end of reparations, but a future where we can move forward with LGBTQ discrimination behind us is one step closer.

  • [] Baloney Meter: Are Liberals welcoming ISIS returnees to Canada with open arms?

    Wanna guess what the baloney meter score on that claim is? Seriously, though, this article does a very concise but thorough job of debunking bullshit Conservative claims about the deradicalization programs and general returnee strategy being developed by the Liberals.

  • [] Supreme Court justices joust with Trinity Western over homophobic covenant

    At the time of writing, the second and final day of hearing only ended a few hours ago, so there hasn’t been enough time for any well-written, thoughtful takes on what went down. I imagine next week’s Update will have at least a couple. This one isn’t bad for a start thought. Also, judging from the BCHA’s live comments, things went really, really well, though TWU says they’re confident. Now comes the waiting game!

  • [] Bill 62: Quebec Judge Deals Blow To Controversial Face-Covering Law

    This should surprise pretty much no-one, but the face-covering ban has been stayed at least until the Québec government can get its shit together and give a coherent explanation for how it would actually work. (And when they do that, it will probably just end up struck down completely. It’s vagueness is just about the only thing protecting the bill right now.)

  • [] What Is The Alt-Right ‘White Sharia’ Movement?

    So apparently, “white sharia” is a thing now. And it’s not a joke. Fuck you, 2017.

  • [] Trinity Western law school would be an affront to LGBT equality, Supreme Court hears

    While this mentions the Supreme Court case, what I think makes it much more interesting is that it points out something that is very often overlooked: LGBTQ people do attend TWU, and for a variety of reasons.

Canadian Atheist’s Weekly Update depends on the submissions of readers like you. If you see anything on the Internet that you think might be of interest to CA readers, please take a minute to make a submission.

6 thoughts on “Weekly Update: to

  1. We’ve only just put up our review of the TWU hearings but I’ll link to them here: http://www.bchumanist.ca/bcha_at_scc_twu

    Let me know if you have any specific questions Indi and I’d be happy to contribute something for CA.

    • By coincidence, I just added both of BCHA’s recent articles on the case to next week’s Weekly Update candidates!

      Right now I’m collecting takes on the hearings from as many sources as possible, looking not just for candidates for WU, but also for patterns in the opinions. If I see a pattern I’ll probably give it a dedicated article… in which case I might hit you up for some quotes! (And probably shamelessly ask you to hit up Wes & Kaitlyn from Hakemi & Ridgedale for quotes, too.)

  2. Also I found the Tourloukis v Hamilton ruling on the “The Parental Rights in Education Defense Fund” website: http://www.defendingparents.com/shared/media/editor/file/Application_Record-Public_Copy_E_Tourloukis.pdf

    Worth noting – Tourloukis’ lawyer was representing the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada in the TWU hearings at the SCC (and is visible in most of the webcast, sitting just in front of our counsel).

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